Presidente Istituto degli Innocenti, Maria Grazia Giuffrida

"The significance of this World Day? Very important and intense, since it celebrates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, approved by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989. This document binds States to respect the rights of children and young people". Inevitably, this was the starting point for the wide-ranging interview given yesterday, Sunday 20 November, by the Chairwoman of the Istituto degli Innocenti, Maria Grazia Giuffrida, to L'Avvenire on the occasion of International Children's Rights Day. A document, the Convention, that the Institute, “on behalf of the Department for Family Policies within the framework of the activities of the National Centre for Documentation and Analysis, has also ‘translated’ into a language closer to our times. And it has done so without altering the original structure, so as to make the best of the great changes that have taken place in recent decades at a cultural, social and legal level in relation to childhood and adolescence,” Maria Grazia Giuffrida explained in the interview, excerpts of which are included here.

Between Awareness of One's Rights and Fear of the Future

First and foremost, in the perception of children and young people: "The research we have carried out at national or regional level confirms that they are aware of their rights: they may not know the UN Convention but they understand that there is a right, often associated with a need of theirs, that demands to be upheld". Despite this, for young people the future continues to be a big question mark to be looked at with fear and concern: "What we have understood from our research, part of it was also conducted to understand how the harshest phases of the pandemic were experienced, is their anxiety about the future, the fear of poverty, of war, of the climate crisis," explained Maria Grazia Giuffrida. Gripped by these fears, which they rarely manage to express fully, they find it difficult to imagine a future for themselves as parents and families”.

Urgent Issues

There are many urgent issues affecting children and adolescents, "starting with the increasingly serious inequalities in terms of opportunities," said the Chairwoman, "One fact stands out: only one in ten or more children who graduates from university comes from a family with a low to average educational qualification”. In order to find a solution to the many urgent issues concerning childhood and adolescence, "there are no recipes but there is the prospect of working, as the Istituto degli Innocenti tries to do on a daily basis, to guarantee, in practice, the affirmation of the rights of children and young people and build effective knowledge of their reality, based on certain and verifiable information".

Last update: 02/17/2023 - 16:08